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Perspectives on Deepening Teachers' Mathematics Content Knowledge: The Case of the Milwaukee Mathematics Partnership

Abstract

"The Milwaukee Mathematics Partnership (MMP) is a collaboration among the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee Public Schools, and Milwaukee Area Technical College. A major component of MMP has been the development of a cadre of approximately 130 elementary and middle grades teacher leaders committed to leading improvements of their schools' mathematics programs while maintaining full-time teaching responsibilities. For each of five years, MMP provided a series of monthly professional development sessions targeting a selected mathematics content strand (e.g., algebra and algebraic reasoning, measurement and geometric reasoning). Through activities designed and facilitated by teams of university mathematics faculty, mathematics educators, and teachers-in-residence, the teacher leaders considered mathematics content in terms of "big ideas." For example, the algebra strand included five big ideas: equivalence, variable, patterns, linearity, and properties. Mathematics content knowledge was addressed from four perspectives to situate it within various aspects of the work of teacher leaders: (1) mathematical knowledge held by oneself, (2) mathematical knowledge held by other teachers, (3) mathematical knowledge held by students, and (4) the mathematical knowledge given emphasis in curriculum and assessments, specifically the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and the Wisconsin Assessment Framework."

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